May 30, 2013
1 min read

Progress reported in reducing central line-associated infections

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Ongoing quality control efforts and other initiatives have led to “substantial” reductions in hospital-onset central line-associated bloodstream infections during the past 20 years, but more work remains to be done, according to study data published online.

Matthew E. Wise, MPH, PhD, of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at CDC, and colleagues used data from the National Healthcare Safety Network and the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance systems to estimate the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) that occurred in ICUs, and those infections that were prevented, between 1990 and 2010.

Matthew Wise PhD 

Matthew E. Wise

“CLABSI rate reductions led to between 104,000 and 198,000 fewer CLABSIs than would have occurred if rates had remained unchanged since 1990,” the researchers said.

However, Wise and colleagues said there is still room left for improvements, as there were about 15,000 hospital-onset CLABSIs in ICU patients as recently as 2010, and most of those occurred in larger teaching hospitals.

According to the study results, the concentration of critical care CLABSIs in medium and large teaching hospitals suggested that a targeted approach may be warranted to continue reductions in critical care CLABSIs nationally.

“Our findings suggest that dissemination and adoption of evidence-based CLABSI prevention practices in intensive care units have prevented thousands of serious infections over the last 2 decades in the US,” Wise told Infectious Disease News. “The success of CLABSI prevention initiatives has helped bolster perceptions that health care-associated infections are preventable.”

For more information:

Matthew E. Wise, MPH, PhD, can be reached at the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, MS A-38, Atlanta, GA 30333; email:

Disclosure: Wise reports no relevant financial disclosures.